The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Better In My Head



I have said on previous occasions that I know that I have a problem with ruminating too damn much about things.  I admit it, and I do not like that part of my personality.  But, it is sure a helluva lot harder to STOP ruminating than it is to know I should stop ruminating. 

Ruminate means:
  1. Think deeply about something: "we sat ruminating on the nature of existence".
  2. (of a ruminant) Chew the cud
Maybe it is something ingrained in my genes to do this?  It is a very common trait in professors.   In many ways it is a GOOD thing to do.  It allows me to conduct my research.  It is a significant aspect of my abilities as a teacher (I can think of pretty good examples and analogies to help students learn).  But ruminating also can have a very sinister, darker side.  It is this sinister, darker side I seem to have a hard time putting aside. 

This darker rumination stems from fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear of loss, fear of immutable change, fear of not being loved, fear of being alone in life. 

But, that darker rumination is all a huge waste of time, a huge waste of my energy, and a huge waste of ME as a person.  So, I have to keep fighting against it.  I need to battle it with the arsenal I have at hand.  Previously, I have used my walking as a part of arsenal.  I have used other exercise in my arsenal, and I have frequently used my pipe and pipe tobaccos as part of my arsenal to fight and combat this "dark rumination". 

The one aspect of all of the three is that they consume time and effort away from dark rumination.  With SOPS V2, unfortunately, a sizeable chunk of my arsenal has been eliminated. 

But, I can "pump up" the other two aspects of my arsenal to try to compensate.  I did get up again today at 5:00 (actually 4:55am) and forced myself to get on the road and get my body moving on the 5 mile walk.  I did force myself to get to the gym and I lifted weights again and again until my arms (and my mind) were exhausted.  I ran a mile on the indoor track as well to tire myself  (and my mind) out.  It seems to have helped.  I feel much more like my typical self right now.  If I start to feel the "dark rumination" returning, perhaps I will take another stroll, perhaps around the U or something similar.  The last several days, I didn't get myself out of bed until about 7:15 or so, and after walking, I was already pushing my time to get to the U, and hence had no time for the gym.

So, while my current situation is still progressing and no decision has been made of yet (and yes, both continue to be positive, and yes, also both will change my family's life forever.... and yes.... if I think about it too much, I start to drift into dark rumination about the anxiety and fear of I have about the loss of control I have when the choice is eventually made (we can never go back to what was before), I am wrestling with my assinie emotions about this, and I am trying and succeeding to a degree, to force myself back into a better mental focus. 

Rumination can be good, or it can be downright wretchedly ugly and sinister.  It has that "slippery slope" aspect to it. 

The other definition of ruminate (to chew the cud) has given me a thought.... I could perhaps start enjoying chewing tobacco in lieu of my pipe on those days that are not SOPS V2 friendly.   It has a modicum of appeal even though I have not really ever been much of a chewer.  But, I know I am only joking about it, because a) it is not really in keeping with what I would like to accomplish with SOPS.  and b) because my wife would be annoyed as heck at me if I started to chew and wanted a spitoon.  But, chewing tobacco could be a reasonably human oriented action akin to chewing cud.

PipeTobacco

Today's (Wednesday's) Goal = 0 bowls   

Tuesday's [2/19] Goal = 0 bowls
Actual consumption (Tuesday) = 0 bowls


Walking Day 1613 / SOPS Day 8

9 Comments:

Blogger austere said...

You Americans do wake up pretty early, don't you? Steal a march on the rest of the world and all that.:)
me? I feel terribly virtuous if I'm up by 6. :)

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013  
Blogger BBC said...

I'm thinking it may be better for you to not smoke at all for a month instead of messing around with the SOPS thing, and see how that goes for you. I know I would have a hell of a time trying to limit smoking to just once a week.

As for the other problem you are dealing with, are you ever going to tell us what it is? Also, is a change going to cost more? Not sure this is a good time for more expenses.

Enjoy your walks.

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013  
Blogger This Brokedown Life said...

There's also the physiological issue for you of, not to pour salt, tobacco withdrawal. The smoking gives you a little high and when you withdraw from that habitual high you're going to crash until your body adjusts, bringing depression. That's why I keep harping at you to quit cold turkey. I know, unwanted advice from an unknown contributor. But it's well-meant, I assure you.

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013  
Blogger BBC said...

By extra expenses I mean long term expenses, committing yourselves to ten to twenty years of payments. Something short term may be okay.

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013  
Blogger billy pilgrim said...

live in the present, not the past or the future.

why is it called the present? because it's a gift.

enjoy the moment.

rumination - don't mistake thoughts for facts. ask yourself, is this a fact or just a thought?
all in all, the facts of you life probably place you in the top decile.

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013  
Blogger thimscool said...

Chewing tobacco or snuf? Because the former is nasty squared but I've heard that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious.

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013  
Blogger Doc Teri said...

Prof,
First, I think you're right that we professors are inclined to over-ruminate. I know that that is one of my own struggles on a daily basis.
Second, whatever this choice is...if one of the options involves a career move to higher administration, do NOT do it. Trust me. If not, remember the old adage, "Wherever you go, there you are." Pick one. Toss a coin if need be, then embrace it. I get it; we, too, are struggling with a decision that involves change and I'm "over-ruminating." I'm about ready to toss a damn coin.
Finally, be gentle with yourself. As Pilgrim said, the "present" is a gift.
(Note that I did not mention smoking...I have backslid horribly. Vodka is still my friend. And if I ever learn to follow what I wrote above, it'll be a grand day :-)

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013  
Blogger BBC said...

I was just thinking that if I had Pipes snail mail address that I would send him a two dollar Canadian loonie so he has a fucking coin to toss. I'm assuming a fucking loonie can flip a fucking loonie without making a big fucking decision about it, hahahahaha

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013  
Blogger BBC said...

BTW, Pipe, Doc Teri told me to give you her email address so check your email. Be a good little boy and write her, if you can decide to.

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013  

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